Chairlift or Gondola? It’s a Chondola!

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on May 29, 2009 3:48 pm

Next time you meet a chairlift, ask, “How many functions do you serve?”  If you detect a swelling of pride in the chairlift’s answer, it’s because you’re talking to a Hybrid Lift.  Admittedly, at first site the hybrid lift seems an uncooked idea served fresh.  An immediate “why?” comes to mind.

Investigate the science of it all, and its purpose is more than valid.  On super windy days, the lift can transform into strictly a chalrlift (no gondolas), as chairlifts can be operated in higher winds.  At night, or the summer, the lift can become strictly a gondola (no chairs) to accommodate foot traffic.

There are many hybrid lifts in Europe and a half-dozen here in the States.  Northstar-at-Tahoe, Telluride, Whitefish Mountain in Montana, and Winter Park in Colorado all boast a hybrid lifts.  The most recent addition to the hybrid lift movement is the Chondola.  Yep, it’s not a zebra, or a horse, it’s a zorse!  The Chondola opened in Sunday River, Simon Dumont’s childhood stomping grounds, this past December.  Two separate lift rides totaling a 20-minute ride is now a Chondola ride of just under seven minutes.  The Chondola should be prideful!

photo: Chondola at Sunday River, ME

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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